BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – A local drag entertainer is raising money and awareness for the community’s ongoing mental health crisis.

As part of his most recent title win as Mr. Star Struck 2023, Ryder Knightly is hosting a benefit for the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) at the Bundy Museum Annex on November 10. The event will feature drag performances and a variety of raffles while also serving as a safe space for those struggling to be open about their mental health. All proceeds made from the benefit will directly benefit NAMI.

Knightly is a titled Male Illusionist Performer based in Oneonta who has been performing in and around the Greater Binghamton area for the last eight years. He has spoken candidly about his own struggle with mental illness and is a strong supporter of the LGBTQ+ community as well as those dealing with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Coming off of his most recent title win, Knightley is focusing his time and energy on raising awareness for mental illness, especially in the LGBTQ+ community. Mental health is a common struggle for those who identify as LGBTQ+ as they are at a much higher risk of developing a mental health disorder.

Event coordinators say having space for such events to raise awareness for the struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ and community beyond offers a chance for healing and growth in our area.

The benefit will be held from 5:30 to 10 p.m., with performers starting at 7.

The Bundy Annex is located at 133 Main Street in Binghamton.